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Small church using keyboard
Has anyone heard of small churches using programmed keyboards?
My new job allows me lots of time to think. Maybe too much!!!
Many smaller churches struggle to get musicians/decent musicians.
So I was thinking about a church I heard about that had someone program the keyboard with songs, then someone could hit play and it would play the song. As I understand it they could even decide to sing the chorus over again or jump around in the song.
If a keyboard was also programmed with drums, and bass, or other instruments and you could select which instruments you wanted based on which ones you had playing live live then you could have a full band.
ex. You have a guitar player so keyboard would do piano, bass, & drums.
Or on a certain song you want a woodwind sound so it could play woodwind and piano.
Is this possible, anyone doing it? Can you download preprogrammed material?
I have found Abelton Live. It is a DAW and a live playback program.
So far it looks really good for churches.
You can select what instruments, you can select to jump around in a song as it plays, so if the WL wants to sing the chorus again you can.
ditch the keyboard, man.
Think of your audience. Don't put em through that. If you wanna enhance things with some strings or pick things up in between with a band, do it... but don't make folks mad with non music music with no purpose. It'll run em off.
It's... possible. We have an organ at our Lutheran church that works on a MIDI interface, and its current setup is a "hybrid" between a few ranks of pipes, and a MIDI synth hooked to an amp and speakers. One of the things this MIDI-based system allows our organist to do is to "record" hymns and special music for the few weeks a year that he can't be there.
While this is passable for a week at a time once in a blue moon, it has some severe limitations, not all of which could be overcome with better equipment. If we had to use recordings for several weeks in a row I'm pretty sure the remaining members of our congregation would be screaming for us to hire someone.
If you're going to have live music, have live music (and source the musicians accordingly; if you have to pay some outside guys to play for you, that's really no better or worse than paying a pianist/organist). If you're going to use recordings, use recordings. If you're going to do both, have a few guitarists play along with a CD track, and don't use that setup for liturgy or "service music" (canticles etc); prelude/hymns/offertory/postlude only. Don't ask even volunteer musicians to play along with a MIDI piano.